Choosing the right CRM

Close vs. Zoho

Have you ever seen a comparison page where the “challenger” comes out better than the company writing the comparison?

Exactly. Neither have we. So when we set about comparing our sales productivity platform to others we wanted to take a different approach. Here’s the approach we’re taking:

  • The comparison we’ve put together is based on whether it’s possible (and how much it costs) to do in Zoho what you can do in Close.
  • We’re biased but we’re not blind: for some of you, Zoho will be the better option. What we’re trying to demonstrate is when Close is a better fit than our competitor.

Cliff Notes

Zoho and Close are often put head-to-head solely because of pricing similarities, but the two products are designed to service drastically different types of businesses. Zoho is a much more complex family of apps that allows for additional power and features, but will require paid consulting and dedicated team members to manage the CRM itself. Close is much more powerful in calling features and outreach, and a sales leader can implement it quickly and easily for a much faster velocity to product use.

Zoho requires users to have third-party apps for calling, but also offers Zoho One—a hub of business apps your W-2 employees can access for an additional fee. Additionally, Zoho requires add-on costs for necessities like training, implementation, and customer success. Zoho also scores lower than Close on sites like G2 for ease of use, ease of setup, quality of support, and product direction.

It’s important to note that this comparison guide is for Zoho—not Zoho Bigin (which is a newer, separate product).

Close logo Zoho logo
Target sales team size <100 100+
Pricing All-inclusive
Pricing publicly available
Sales call required
Complex pricing with hidden costs
Budget Best value Affordable
Customer success Dedicated success team Pay extra
Calling Global calling built-in Calling via third-party app
Email automation Built-in Built-in
Training & implementation $0 customized onboarding Add-on purchase required
GetApp "ease of use" rating 4.7 / 5 4.1 / 5
Admin or developer needed? No Yes
Info sign iconComparison data is based on an analysis from Q1 2021

Close ideal customer checklist

  • You do (or plan to do) high-volume outreach by email, voice or SMS
  • You need to qualify large lead lists quickly
  • You aim to close more than ten deals a year
  • You’re looking for a scalable system to match your team’s growth
  • You prefer having an all-in-one system over disparate tools

“I used Zoho at my previous startup, I didn’t like it. I love Close CRM—it’s super lightweight, easy to use, and a great first CRM. No Salesforce engineer required. Check out their blog & Steli’s podcast for great insight, too.”

Anjali Kundra, Co-founder at Partender

The rest of this document will help you understand why we think Close is a better alternative to Zoho both in terms of value and pricing.

What can you not do in Zoho?

Zoho is a solid CRM option, but it requires heavier customization up-front and has a more complex user interface. On many review sites, Zoho users note slow customer support. If you’re a smaller team with a sales team who isn’t development-minded (or if you’re without a CRM admin), Zoho can be an overwhelming platform to use. You’ll also need to purchase and manage a separate VoIP system to integrate with Zoho.

There are also some key sales functions that, even with a third-party app, you just cannot perform using Zoho (such as call coaching). Whereas with Close, they’re all built-in.

Close logo Zoho logo
Built-in email automation tools Included Not included
Built-in calling Included Not included
Built-in call coaching Included Not included
Predictive Dialer Included Not included
Power Dialer Included Not included
Built-in SMS Included Not included
Dedicated Customer Success team Included Not included
Automatic import of email conversations Included Not included
includedComparison data is based on an analysis from Q1 2021

In summary

When should you choose Zoho, and when Close

  • Close is a CRM built to double your sales team’s productivity.
  • It’s an “all-in-one” platform which you can use standalone without needing any other sales emails tools or calling products.
  • It has been built with scalability in mind and can handle a high-volume of leads.
  • Zoho is good if you’re a larger enterprise with the resources to admin and customize your Zoho instance.
  • Zoho also tends to work if you already have many third-party integrations and are NOT looking to centralize your system into a more streamlined CRM.
  • Zoho is a better option if you want to combine CRM functions with your inventory management and customer support.

See what third-party reviewers have to say about Close vs. other CRMs:

Test all of Close’s features for free for 14 days.